The charming, challenging British-Iranian comedian Omid Djalili has a They perceive that I'm making fun of the culture, but of course I'm not. In the course of his career as a stand-up comedian, Omid Djalili has done The British-Iranian comedian dons the shabby mantle of Fagin and. You wait years for an Anglo-Iranian stand-up comedian and then two come along simultaneously. Omid Djalili is currently trying to crack.
Omid Djalili - WikipediaComedy in Iran and America - Omid Djalili comedy stand up - BBC
This is, I assume, because they imagine we will want a tranquil spot for our interview and also because they think that much loved comedian and actor Djalili might desire to slip in and out of the premises undetected. On this second point, they seem to have erred. Djalili is now on his feet, waving his arms in the manner of a castaway trying to attract the attentions of a ship on the horizon.
In actual fact, he would just like to see a menu. Unprepossessingly located by the side of the train tracks above the old Victorian horse hospital in Camden, its opening in was rumoured to be one of the most expensive that London had seen. Stars, particularly from the B or C register and below, flocked. It has been derided as more of a theme park than a restaurant.
Djalili has little truck with such snobbery. When the menu arrives, he announces that he would happily eat anything on it. As we wait for our starters, we sip mocktails and he explains that he was born to be an entertainer. Along with a group of fellow converts, this poet was tortured and sentenced to death, but even then they did not lose their sense of humour.
Born and raised in west London, he had an undistinguished academic career, endlessly retaking A levels, but scarcely improving on a smattering of Es, Fs and unclassifieds. He had a spell as a chauffeur, secretly believing that he should be sat in the back of the limo. Then I could be myself. There was the time when Russell Crowe thought Djalili was coming on to him on the set of Gladiator.
Omid Djalili: 'I put the 'fat' into 'fatwa'' - Telegraph
A chunky, balding, London-born comedian belly-dances into view before launching into a discussion of the merits of Iran, his parents' native land. Two blokes walk into a bar - not in Iran! Normally, Iranians don't go out - they're too busy staying at home and enriching Uranium Iran's only exports are pistachio nuts and massive international ill feeling.
When it starts on BBC1 tonight, its eponymous star will become the first British-Iranian performer ever to get his own mainstream TV show anywhere in the world.
Omid Djalili: 'I'm taking on the Iranian government on behalf of women. It's nutty'
When I meet Djalili a few days after the recording, he proves as energetic off stage as on, describing himself as "the Les Dennis of the Middle East" and "the man who puts the fat into fatwa, the fun into fundamentalism and the ham into Hamas".
He has been ruffling feathers - and gathering fans - since his first, award-winning, show at the Edinburgh Festival 12 years ago, and acknowledges that The Omid Djalili Show has already whipped up controversy.
They've posted messages on my website saying, 'You're a disgrace to Iran. I write back to them in Farsi, saying, 'Thanks for your response. If you've been offended by what I've done in my live act, wait till you see my TV show.
Omid Djalili: 'I put the 'fat' into 'fatwa''
Pack your bags and think about changing your nationality now! However, his material is quite strong enough to stand on its own merits and justify his presence at the heart of BBC1's Saturday night schedule. Why not give people a different perspective on the Middle East?